Disclaimer: Dustbunny doesn't own YGO! and makes no profit from this work

A/N: Whew! This little bit of yuck should just qualify me for the third round of the fanfiction contest I'm in. Yet another couple that I wouldn't dream of touching without the rules of such a competition at my back. Since I signed up, though, I may as well finish as well as I can. Sadly, yes, this is as well as I can.

Not really much to say aside from NEVER AGAIN. Absolutely never. I don't even have the heart to subject my beta reader to this piece, so I apologize for any mechanical errors. The time setting is a bit foggy; it obviously takes place some time before the Battle City finals. Past that, er, use your imagination. It's not really set in stone.

Well, read on, and Heaven willing you'll come out without permanent damage

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Maybe it had to do with literally being raised in a hole in the ground, but Malik actually favored bubble baths when he had the time to indulge, and was at a loss to understand why they should be considered a woman thing. Of course a quick shower would always be the ideal means of cleanliness, but he did, after all, have a lot on his plate with revenge and hostile take-overs to worry about; it might be some inner childishness speaking, but Malik felt this gave him the right to relax and enjoy some means of luxury. If anyone had a problem with that, well, that's what flunkies were for.

Brightly lit, the bathroom was a cramped box of a room and not quite so luxuriant as one might expect from a man-- yes, thank you, man, not boy-- who was set to take over the power of the pharaoh for himself. In fact, with its pea-green tiles, puke-orange rug set and calcium-stained sink and tub, it was quite ugly. As Malik had more to worry about than the lacking state of his temporary interior decor, however, he didn't give it any thought. Or not much thought anyway. Just enough to know that anyone who had anything to do with the bathroom would not have any say in any future inhabitations.

With a weary sigh, Malik dropped his bathrobe onto the perpetually grimy toilet and shed his clothing into an unceremonious pile on the floor, the Rod propped against the wall beside him. The bath water was running already, and clean white foam bloomed from the spot beneath the running stream where Malik had liberally poured out a cheerfully pink solution that filled the vile room with the soothing scent of lavender. Why lavender bubble bath solution would be any shade of pink was a mystery to Malik, but he didn't see that it was his place to worry about such trivialities. Instead he laid himself out in the tub and gratefully let the soapy water lap at his sides as it continued to fill the bath. With another sigh, this one relaxed, he settled in and closed his eyes lazily, a small smile stretching his lips as he went over his plans to himself.

Vengeance.

It was almost strange to think about, his thirst to avenge his father. He had hated the man after being made Timekeeper as a child, and had more than one dream that no child should ever have. Dreams of the look of horror upon his father's face as he was overpowered by his young son. Dreams of pleas for mercy, shrieks of pain-

Blood. Lots of blood.

Dreams of viciously bringing down a dagger, unimpeded by the spurts of blood and the screams ricocheting through the hollow room-

Plenty of blood, staining floor and walls and cloth and flesh-

Dreams of wearing a jacket of his father's hide.

An eye for an eye. Suffering for suffering.

Something about actually seeing it done, seeing his father as a bloody, spongy mass had changed Malik's heart on the matter. Seeing his father's flesh tossed like discarded linen upon Rishid had, even as something deep within his roiling, somersaulting stomach purred like a contented cat, shocked him into realization. This man, his father, was not to blame. This man had been raised to do one thing, and he had carried on this duty proudly. He had spent his life in service to the absent pharaoh, and see what he had gotten.

Everything is his fault. All your pain, all your suffering.

"All his fault," Malik mumbled to himself, hands subconsciously clenching the sides of the tub. "It's all his fault."

Make him pay. Make him suffer.

"Hmm..." Malik relaxed again, vaguely aware that he would have to turn off the water soon. He breathed deeply, basking in the warm caress of the water and the soft aroma of the bubbles. Images floated through his mind so that he felt half-asleep. They were images of triumph, of the day he would conquer the pharaoh and free his family of the burden that had been thrust upon them. Images of the pharaoh in throes of agony.

Make him feel it. He has to really feel it.

Oh, he would feel it. The thought was oddly rousing, and Malik gave in to the feeling as easily as he had given into the bath. Something that neither quite a moan nor a sigh passed his lips as something with more insistence than water caressed him. First over his chest, then down his sides, then lower still, his hands-

His hands were still resting on the edges of the tub.

Malik opened his eyes and jerked up into sitting position so fast that a wave of water and bubbles fell over the side and to the floor with an indignant splash. Though he scanned the small room carefully, he saw no evidence that he was anything but alone. Surely no one could have actually gotten into the tub without his noticing, and there was no way to hide once his eyes were open. Still, he was sure he hadn't imagined what he'd felt, and he knew it hadn't been caused by bubbles or water, and so it was a notably less relaxed Malik that laid back into position.

Never mind. Relax. It will come to pass soon.

Indeed it would. This happy thought was enough to ease Malik's mind-- which had become sort of fuzzy all of a sudden. It wasn't an altogether unpleasant phenomenon, and it somehow made the sensation of calloused hands dancing over his flesh and weight settling over him less of a cause for worry. He opened his eyes a crack, suspicious and uncertain in the back of his mind, but saw no one. A soothing sort of purr sounded from somewhere far away, and he let his eyes slide back shut. For an instant he seemed to see a face impressed against his eyelids; it was very much like his own, but there was something... wrong with it...

What's so wrong?

The whisper was no louder than a dry leaf floating to the ground, but Malik heard it all the same. At the same time he had the impression that someone was stroking his inner thighs, and he decided off-handedly that there was nothing wrong with the face at all.

Do it slowly...

"Mm?" Malik frowned. Do what? All he wanted to do right now was enjoy his... bath.

Destroy him slowly. Draw it out. Make him suffer.

Ah, yes, the pharaoh. Conquering the pharaoh.

Make him suffer long and hard. Make him feel it.

Some part of Malik wanted to shudder, another part to nod. Rather than do either, he squirmed under the invisible hands, whimpered as he was assaulted by a sense of soft kisses sprinkled over his neck.

It will all be for nothing if you do it quickly.

It..?

If you kill him quickly it will be for nothing.

Oh, yes, of course.

Make them all suffer. Make them all pay for their loyalty to him.

Humming his compliance, though he couldn't say to whom, Malik felt as though he might melt under the mysterious attentions. His mind was clouded with a pleasant mist, and he could see no reason to disagree to whomever or whatever was being so... so kind. Images passed through his mind like a slide show, images of the pharaoh's followers- the pharaoh's friends. Or rather, images of their bloody, battered bodies.

Lots of blood. Plenty of blood. Make it last.

That wouldn't be difficult. Once the pharaoh had fallen at his feet, Malik would... well, first thing first he would officially declare his family's freedom. He would show his sister her errors, show her that she was now free to live her own life. He would claim the title of pharaoh for himself, but then-

Kill them all. Make them suffer. Make them pay. The girl first.

The girl, yes. Yes, after the pharaoh had fallen, Malik would hear those most loyal curse the very being that they had followed so closely. The girl, Anzu, as irritating in her love for the pharaoh as her eyes were blue and her curves were full, would make a fine first example. Malik could think of nothing to suggest for her punishment that his minions could, no doubt, top from the look of her. The young men would hear her scream and cry and beg for mercy--

"Ah!" Malik arched, not caring that he sent another wave over the side of the tub. Those caresses had increased in pressure, so that they might almost be intended for pain rather than pleasure. His body was far hotter than even the bath water could account for; it felt almost as though he'd hugged an oven.

After the girl, the brunette. Slowly, so slowly. Make him bleed.

Honda, Malik was relatively sure was his name. Little more than background noise, for all the importance that the others seemed to place on him. He would be allowed to fight, to believe he had a chance (as scenes of violence flash behind his eyes, Malik felt as though someone were gnawing at the crook of his neck; he moaned and whimpered for more even as he was sure it bled), but then all the Ghouls would be upon him. He wouldn't last long.

No! Make it last. Draw it out. Kill him, but slowly. And then the blond.

Yes, Jounouchi. Impudent, loud-mouthed, right-hand man Jounouchi. Malik would delight in his suffering. There were no solid plans yet, but he imagined it would be something like with Honda. Or maybe he could even give them a chance to save the girl (a heavy weight, like of another person, settled over Malik. Those hands, if they were hands, had suddenly taken hold of him where he was most sensitive; it was all he could do not to cry out), a series of chances, even. And every time they failed (and they would fail every time, and Malik knew it was right to think this because the hands were moving in swift, pounding rhythm) she would suffer a greater penalty for them. She wouldn't die (Kill her. Kill her and all the rest) until she screamed out her hatred for the pharaoh and for the fools she called her friends.

Delicious, so very delicious. Such fun it will be, the killing.

Perhaps he would do the same when it was down to the boys- perhaps not. It might be an occasion better suited for mental torture. Let them relive (Kill them. Kill them. Kill them) every moment that they failed to save the girl. Let them blame each other, turn against each other-

Let them kill each other. Watch as they rip each other to shred, always pulling the strings.

White-hot pressure was building in his abdomen--

Kill them all.

In his mind's eye he could see the tortured corpses--

Make them all suffer. Draw their blood slowly, make them feel every drop.

And more than that, he could see himself as pharaoh; he could see the fate of any who might dare oppose him--

Kill them all. Kill them all. Killthemall. Killthemall. KillthemallKillthemallKillthemallKillthemall--

Malik's eyes shot wide as he arched his back, his mouth stretched to scream though the scream itself had lodged itself stubbornly in his chest, keeping the company of his pounding heart. It felt as though something inside him had exploded, and even as he was flooded over with pleasure, he felt suddenly vulnerable as well. Ever since he had begun his quest, and some time before, he'd felt as though something was protecting him. It was something dark and powerful, and he'd always had a sense that it was wrapped around him for protection. Now that feeling was gone, and he felt small and alone.

But his mind was also clearer now than it had been. It the blissful peak of things, scenes of gore had been impressed deeply into his mind. But among the eyes that stared at nothing, the faces convulsed with terror at something he couldn't see, he'd recognized Rishid, and even his own sister. And even those picture that had been cause for contentment earlier, of the pharaoh's friends battered and bruised, caused his stomach to flip now. Wrong. All wrong. More wrong still was what appeared to be a foggy memory. A memory of terrified eyes, of disbelief, of flesh being separated smoothly from muscle and bone-

"Master Malik!"

Surprised to hear Rishid calling him, and to hear the knocking at the bathroom door, Malik gave a start and swallowed a mouthful of soapy water, some of suds dancing up his nose. In the next moment the door was open and Rishid was looking at him in concern. A part of Malik wanted to plea for his help-- but then it was back, that feeling of strength. That dark, protective power was around him like a lover's embrace, and all seemed to be right in the world. Well, all accept his servant interrupting his bath.

"What is the meaning of this intrusion?" Malik demanded, even as he realized what must have brought Rishid to his side. The water had been running all the time, and the floor was flooded with sudsy puddles. Carelessly, as though this were perfectly normal, Malik turned off the flow of the faucet, now beginning to run cold, with his foot, and in the same movement opened the drain to release the soiled bathwater. Fluidly, without second thought to his still shaky legs, he rose and reached out for his robe, which Rishid scurried forward to help him into.

"Are you sure you're alright?" Rishid asked, frowning as he held firmly to Malik's elbow to help the latter step steadily onto the slippery floor.

Jerking his arm away, and nearly falling in the process, Malik snapped back, "I'm not a child. I can take my own bath."

It was plain to see that Rishid had an answer in mind if Malik had been someone other than Malik. As matters stood, however, Malik was indeed Malik, and Rishid held his tongue lowered his eyes, the picture of a chastised servant. Something churned in Malik's gut at the thought, but he ignored it and walked out of the room with his nose held up in indignance. When Rishid made to follow him into his room, Malik turned on him.

"I wish to be left alone after my bath."

There was just a moment of hesitation before, "Of course. I am at your service if you should find need for me."

He bowed out and closed the door behind him, leaving Malik alone in silence.

In silence, anyway. A shiver ran the length of Malik's spine and he thought heard a chuckle that might have been carried on a breeze, and he wasn't entirely sure about the "alone" part.

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Praise appreciated (if not expected), concrit treasured, flames raspberried (so it's a good thing I've got plenty to keep me hydrated)